Proposed Lacrosse Field for Big Finn Hill Park – Community Meeting Tonight at Finn Hill Jr High

Kirkland Lacrosse is proposing to convert a soccer practice field in Big Finn Hill Park to an all-season lacrosse field, with lighting for evening games and practices. The group is hosting an informational meeting about the project on Monday, June 20, at Finn Hill Jr High from 7pm to 8pm.

DCNA has not expressed any view regarding this project. It is interested in learning more details at the June 20 meeting, as well as hearing the views of Finn Hill residents.

Kirkland Lacrosse has provided the following statement about the project to DCNA:

“Each year more and more kids turn out for lacrosse and soccer, yet each year the number of sports fields stays the same. Next year Kirkland Lacrosse estimates that it will have to turn away a significant number of kids who want to play because there just aren’t enough fields available. Today schedulers double up teams on the same muddy practice field and hold practices late at night in order to just barely support the kids they have.

To solve this problem Kirkland Lacrosse Association has approached King County and offered to pay the majority of costs associated with improving the existing field at Big Finn Hill Park. Currently this field is used for the portion of the year when it isn’t too muddy (about 6 months). By improving the field it will be available year round to a larger number of kids in our community and its existence will ensure that we don’t have to turn kids away. Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association also has fewer fields than it needs and they are also supporting this project as it will also allow them to increase access to their program.

Some in the surrounding neighborhood have expressed concerns about some of the improvements, specifically the possibility that there could be an increase in traffic, that the new field will attract vandals or that the lights will affect the neighbors.

• We believe there will be no increase in neighborhood traffic because the field is at the end of a private road off of Juanita Drive. To the degree it impacts traffic on Juanita Drive the impact should be immeasurable over what exists today.

• As far as vandals, the field will be fenced and lit, and because of the increased use it will be less likely to draw anyone looking for mischief.

• As for lighting, Kirkland Lacrosse is proposing to spend extra dollars in order to get a state of the art lighting system that will minimize the amount of spillover light. Today’s systems have lights that have a much tighter focus which shine directly down and not across the field. This reduces the spill dramatically, and ensures there will be no direct light coming off of the field. It’s also worth noting the site has a heavy tree buffer which significantly blocks visibility of the field.

Kirkland Lacrosse believes the surrounding environment will benefit from this field, specifically because the facility will get a new modern drainage system that treats and retains storm water better than what is in place today, thereby improving the watershed. Because the field already exists there will be no new clearing or cutting back of wooded areas.

Both Kirkland Lacrosse and Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association are nonprofit entities who exist solely to serve our communities by ensuring that our kids have access to the same opportunities we all had when we were growing up, the opportunity to play. We hope that you can join us in supporting our kids.

If you have questions, concerns or want to express your support, we are getting ready to hold our second community meeting at Finn Hill Jr. High on June 20th at 7pm.”

If you want to see an artist’s renderings of the field, go to http://www.facebook.com/BigFinnField. You can also address questions or comments to Bill Finkbeiner or Steve Lytle at Kirkland Lacrosse. Their email addresses are: billfinkbeiner@msn.com and swlytle@gmail.com.